Our English born and bred daughter married her French fiancé on 28th December.
She had to jump through hoops to do it as nothing is ever straight forward here in France. She had to apply for a copy of her birth certificate from England as the original is not acceptable here, it has to be within 3 months of issue?!
She received it and then had to send it with her divorce papers to the British Embassy in Paris for them to issue a certificate in English to say that everything was above board. She then had to find a certified translator in our area to translate the whole lot, at a cost. When this was done she and her fiancé went to the mairie in our village to arrange the ceremony and were told they could do it later in the month so they married yesterday!
We were shocked it was so quick but as they were only planning a quiet occasion that was fine. We had bouquets made for our daughter and grand daughter (who was bridesmaid), I made some fascinators as head wear and as our daughter didn't plan a white wedding we chose outfits suitable to wear again. First thing yesterday daughter, grand daughter and I went to the hairdresser in the village, we left to shouts of bonne chance! She went to get some juice for the children at the grocer's, the lady commented on her hair, 'for something special?' she asked. 'I'm getting married this morning,' the lady was so excited!
Her future mother in law lent her a fur coat, which was exactly what she needed as it was extremely cold yesterday, minus 4 when we went to the mairie. For a civil ceremony it was relaxed and very enjoyable. The mayor in his sash looked official but pleasant, the clerk kissed us when we arrived, they presented the couple with a book signed by officials at the mairie and a huge bouquet for the bride. Photographs were taken for the newsletter and a copy given to the happy couple. Apparently because we live in a small community they can do this but it is not to be expected in a large town or city; our daughter said she had never had the intention of marrying anywhere but in the small commune we live in.
After the ceremony our new son in law spent ages chatting to the mayor about our grandson's education at the village school. The children have looked on him as a dad for quite a long time but now he is their step father he is taking an even closer interest in their education.
After the wedding we went home for champagne and nibbles before going to a hotel/restaurant in the village for a meal. Our daughter works there and we were welcomed warmly. The meal was wonderful and we all ate and drank too much!
Our son in law's boss sent a bouquet to our daughter as well so she is inundated with flowers at the moment.
We enjoyed meeting her new mother in law who we have only met briefly up until now. As our daughter and new husband have a 22 month old son the 'other grandma' really dotes on him but she and her partner are just as generous when it comes to our daughter's son and daughter from her first marriage. The children are just as fond of them too.
A great day, quiet as weddings go but enjoyable because it was what the couple wanted. As we finished outside the mairie a lady came by and asked if they had just got married, yes we said, 'félicitations!' she squealed. Only in a small community would people like that, the hairdressers and the grocer's where they commented on daughter's hair. In towns no one notices anything like that.
It seemed to mean a lot to the community as well as us. We have properly integrated now we have a French son in law it seems. But to us, our daughter and grandchildren's happiness is what is important. However, it seems our son in law will continue to call me sorciere as he has done for the last four years!